23rd November 2016 – After the storm

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E and I took the dog for a walk along the River Coly, upstream from Chantry Bridge. The flood water had receded, but the whole area looked changed. There were piles of debris (mainly sticks) in the middle of the field, a tree trunk lodged against the bridge, the vegetation was all bent and the mud at the banks was scoured smooth and clean. We found the prints of birds, some large, like Heron and some small, like wagtails, on the beach, as well as dog prints of all sizes.

Total wild time – about 1 hour (E), Izzy 0 mins

16th November 2016 – An unpleasant dog walk

IMG_20161116_135943315_HDRToday’s wild time was a bit of a disaster. I took E and the dog out for a walk by the river and seeing the field gate was open and no livestock around, I let the dog off the lead. Seconds later, she disappeared and I realised that she had found a field with some sheep. Swearing under my breath, I called her back and she came, so we continued our walk along the river. We splashed in the shallows, discovered some molehills and E was having a lovely time, but the sheeps’ owner came out to find us. I apologised profusely, explained that I had not realised there were sheep there and assured her it wouldn’t happen again. Unfortunately, though, that was not good enough and the woman continued to give me a bollocking. She eventually huffed off and we made our way back home, feeling stressed and upset.

Total wild time – 1 hour (E), Izzy (0)IMG_20161116_140503837

7th November 2016 – Leaf boats

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E and I took Bramble for a walk in the sunshine. We noticed loads of Woodpigeons and Rooks in the fields. After parking up the buggy, we went for a potter by the River Coly, where we saw a Little Egret and made leaf boats, taking note of the Alder trees covered in cones and purple catkins.

Total wild time – 1 hour (E), Izzy – 0 mins

31st October 2016 – Kicking through leaves

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It was a foggy morning and both children enjoyed pointing out spiders’ webs jewelled with dew. We noticed that some of the trees we pass on the school run had lost almost all of their leaves now.

I took E and the dog for a walk and we went to the little park at Road Green, where there were plenty of lovely crunchy Lime and Horse-chestnut leaves to kick and scrunch through. We found quite a few little fungi, including what I believe were Glistening Inkcaps. E picked up a feather, which we later threw into the river at Umborne Bridge and where we could see a Little Egret paddling about in the water.

Back home, the weather was so lovely, we played in the garden and then sat on the bench to read books together.

Total wild time – E  – 1 hour 15 mins, Izzy – 0 mins

27th October 2016 – Halloween Crafts at Seaton Wetlands

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The car park at Seaton Wetlands was full and a couple of cars had become stuck in the mud using the overflow car park, so we parked in the cemetery, the kids got straight on their bikes and were off towards Reed Base, where we joined a very popular event making halloween crafts. First, we made lanterns using autumn leaves, ironed between wax paper. Unlike our previous attempt to make tea light holders in a similar way, these actually worked and looked great. Next, we made hobgoblins (Izzy made a princess goblin, obviously) using clay on a stick and natural materials. E was kind enough to let me make his! We also made some creatures out of Teasel, Sycamore seeds, pinecones etc. At this point, E started to lose the plot because he was hungry and would not cooperate when I tried to take a photo of him with his creations. He was happy to get back on his bike and head home for lunch.

After his nap, I took E and the dog out for a walk by the river. E was delighted to find a huge stick, which he rode like a horse, used like a crane and then to ‘cut’ the grass like a combine harvester. We had to drag the stick all the way home, of course.IMG_20161027_153017667

Total wild time – about 1 hour 30 mins

19th October 2016 – River paddling

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There was a chill in the air this morning, as well as a large number of noisy seagulls. I took E and the dog for a walk along the lanes around Colyton. We turned around when the way was blocked by a tractor flailing the hedgerows and parked the buggy by the gate to a field. We meandered our way along the river bank and paddled in the water in our wellies. A pair of Mallards was swimming and a Yellow Wagtail flew by. At Ham Bridge, we turned around and went home.

Total wild time – 1 hour 20 mins

12th October 2016 – A walk with friends

My friend and her little one came to visit today, so we took the dogs for a walk around Colyton. We watched the Mallards and single Black-headed Gull paddling around on the river and E chuckled over them putting their tails in the air as they dabbled for food. A Kingfisher flew past in a flash of electric turquoise and then my friend spotted a Heron in a field ditch on the opposite side of the road.

Total wild time – about 40 mins

12th September 2016 – Dog walk

IMG_20160912_110541918E and I took the dog for a walk, passing a gathering of Starlings on the church spire. At the river, we spooked an Egret, which flashed its yellow feet as it took off. E found some sticks and sang happily to himself.IMG_20160912_104838708_HDR

I had planned to take the kids to the wetlands after zumba, but Izzy was hungry and on the verge of a meltdown, so we went straight home instead.

Total wild time: E – 35 mins, Izzy – 0 mins

1st August 2016 – Rainy days

A broken handbrake scuppered our plans today, so we went for a walk in the rain with visiting friends. There were Grey Wagtails on the river, but the ducks were all sheltering under an overhanging Willow tree. Growing on a hedgerow, we found a few huge blackberries to snack on, which kept morale up for a few minutes.

Total wild time – About 45 mins